EDWARD VII was certainly a highly superstitious person. He was horrified by
minor incidents such as crossed knives at the table or court officials wearing
their uniforms incorrectly. He was constantly on the look-out for evil omens.
His valets were barred from turning his mattress on a Friday and he refused to
sit down for dinner with thirteen people.
 C. Hibbert, Edward VII, Allen Lane.
As Prince of Wales, he attended a musical séance by the Spiritualist medium
Jessie Shepard, one of the most famous and sensational acts of the period. In
his séances, Shepard would sit in a trance at his piano while the music emerged
from the closed keyboard without his touching it. He would do duets,
simultaneously singing both bass and soprano. He gave speeches in English,
French, German, Latin, Greek, Chaldean and Arabic.
 Nandor Fodor, Encyclopedia of Psychic
Science, University Books Inc., 1966.
He impressed many informed listeners.
In an account quoted in Light magazine in 1894, Prince Adam Wisniewski
wrote: 'After having secured the most complete obscurity, we placed ourselves in
a circle around the medium, seated before the piano. Hardly were the first
chords struck when we saw lights appear at every corner of the room ... the
first piece played through Shepard was a fantasy of Thalberg's ... This is
unpublished as is all the music which is played by the spirits through Shepard.
'The second was a rhapsody for four hands, played by Liszt and Thalberg with
astounding fire, a sonority truly grand, and a masterly interpretation. The
harmony was admirable and such as no one present had ever known paralleled even
by Liszt himself, whom I personally knew. In the circle were musicians who like
me, had heard the greatest pianists of Europe; but we can say that we never
heard such truly supernatural execution.'
Edward Bjorkman, in Harper's Weekly, wrote: 'Something more than sound
issued from that piano. It was a mood, uncanny yet pleasing, exalting, luring.
He seemed to keep notes suspended in the air for minutes. Now and then he would
make a shining vessel out of such a chord then he would begin to drip little
drops of melody on it, until the Grail seemed to rise before your vision. I felt
there was an image that wanted to break through - a consciousness of some mighty
 Psychic News, 23 December, 1972.
At 38, Shepard retired to San Diego, California, and built his Villa Montezuma,
now restored and open to the public. There he displayed his gift from Europe
including a gold watch from Edward, Prince of Wales - which, in later years of
poverty, he was forced to pawn.
No doubt King Edward was deeply impressed at the time of his Coronation when he
heard of a pre-cognitive dream which had carried a warning for the Duke of
Portland - and for the King himself.
The Duke was one of the organisers of the Coronation. Some years later, in his
memoirs, he told how during his sleep he had had a vision of the King's state
coach crashing into the arch at the Horse Guards on its way to Westminster
Abbey. According to the dream the coach became jammed because the arch was
 Derek and Julia Parker, Dreaming.
So worried was the Duke that he visited the Crown Equerry, Colonel Ewart and
asked him to have the arch measured. Ewart was sceptical but eventually agreed.
The arch was measured with the result that they found that it was indeed two
feet too low.
'I returned to Colonel Ewart in triumph,' wrote the Duke later, 'and said, "What
do you think of dreams now?"
'"I think, it's damned fortunate you had one," he replied.’
The Duke added: 'It appears that the coach had not driven through the arch for
some time and the level of the road had been raised during repairs.'
But it was in the period immediately preceding the King's death that the most
unusual incidents happened. On his final New Year's Eve at Sandringham, the
Royal Family went through their usual ceremony of 'first footing.' As
midnight drew near everybody, including servants, stepped outside the house so
that the King and Queen Alexandra could be the first to cross its threshold in
the New Year.
 C. Hibbert, Edward VII, Allen Lane.
But just as the King was about to do this, the door was flung open from the
inside by one of his grandchildren who had mischievously entered the back way
for a prank. The King was horrified. 'We shall have some very bad luck this
year,' he said, as if perceiving his own demise.
But the most intriguing story is that the King was warned of his death by Mrs
Willie Jameson, sister of Earl Haig. She was a medium who received messages
through automatic writing from her late brother George.
Psychic News, 30 May, 1953.
One evening at dinner in January, 1910, the King asked if he could have a
private word with the Countess of Fingall. When the meal had finished he took
her into a corner to discuss his late sister, Princess Alice.
'Your friend, Mrs Jameson, has hurt me badly,' he said. 'She knows how much I
loved my sister Alice and she has written to me giving a message which, she says
is from her, sent through her brother George.'
The King explained what the message was: 'The time is short. You must prepare.'
What worried him was additional detail of a trip he and Princess Alice had paid
to Den Nevis when they had collected white heather. He could see no way in which
Mrs Jameson could have known that.
And the warning proved to be true; he died less than five months later.
The Spiritualist newspaper Psychic News has repeatedly claimed that Queen
Alexandra was both clairvoyant and clairaudient; that is, able to see and hear
spirits. These are controversial claims but are worth consideration. The Queen
would have been unlikely to admit to these practices if they had taken place.
One article stated:
“Queen Alexandra was first attracted to Spiritualism at Windsor Castle. While
staying there the Queen had a personal psychic experience. She saw the spirit of
a, tall woman wearing a black and white, dress standing in the doorway of her
dressing room. The Queen later confided to a dose personal friend that she
frequently beard music and singing during the night.
“On one occasion when 'the Queen invited a London medium to visit her at
Windsor, she received two remarkable prophecies, which subsequently came true.
The sitting was held in an ante-room and about a dozen people, including the
Queen, were present. Some remarkable messages had been received and then came a
dramatic warning. It told the early death of King Edward in the house where he
had been born and forecast the outbreak of a great war a few years later.
“Queen Alexandra was on holiday at the Greek island of Corfu (she was the
daughter of Christian IX of Denmark and therefore part of the Danish-Greek royal
family) the following year when the news came that the King was 'not feeling so
well as usual.' Ignoring official assurances that there was nothing seriously
wrong, the Queen insisted on leaving for London immediately.
“She, arrived at Buckingham Palace - where Edward VII was born - in time to see
the King before he died.”
Psychic News, 30 May, 1953.
According to the same article, Queen Alexandra later communicated, with her
husband's spirit through a Glasgow medium named John Sloan. The sittings were
arranged by Arthur Findlay, a Glasgow magistrate who became Spiritualism's most
There were two sittings. The first was attended by the Comptroller of the Royal
Household, anonymously. During this séance a voice spoke to the vistor,
addressing him by name and announcing itself as belonging to Edward VII.
Names were mentioned and an informal conversation followed. Then the voice
added: 'I must thank you for all your kindness to my wife. I do not know how she
would have got on without you, and you have relieved her of much worry and
Psychic News declared: 'When the official returned to London and reported all
that had taken place at the séance to Queen Alexandra, she too wished to speak
to her husband and a further sitting with Sloan was arranged.
'It must have been one of the most impressive groups that ever foregathered to
speak with the dead. Queen Alexandra, Marconi, Sir Thomas Lipton and the three
most renowned Spiritualists of the day, Sir William Barrett, Sir Oliver Lodge
and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, were all present when the voices from another world
spoke through John Sloan.'
Lady Warwick, the King's former mistress, was interviewed about her Spiritualism
at her home in Dunmow, Essex, in 1932.8] She said her interest had first been
aroused by attending seances with Etta Wriedt. At the time she was curious
because Warwick Castle was suffering from alarming phenomena. Lights would be
switched on mysteriously in the middle of the night. There was the inexplicable
sound of feet tramping through the rooms. One manservant claimed to have been
attacked by a spirit and other servants were frightened.
 Psychic News 13 January, 1933.
When Mrs Wriedt arrived at the castle, she was taken to Lady Warwick's room and
there left alone. Waiting outside, Lady Warwick noticed a séance trumpet in her
luggage. She picked it up and held it to her ear.
Immediately, she heard the voice of King Edward VII, talking to her in his
unmistakeable German accent. She conversed with him, partly in German.
Later that day a friend called and was introduced to Mrs Wriedt. Lady Warwick
left them alone together, knowing the man was a sceptic. After 90 minutes, he
emerged from the room white as a sheet, slumped into a chair and exclaimed, 'My
God.' He told Lady Warwick: 'I've been talking to Jerry.’
This was a woman whom he had loved who had died of cancer of the throat. He was
convinced the spirit was authentic, even reproducing the terrible cough she
suffered. He said he was dumbfounded.
From then on, Lady Warwick sat with Mrs Wriedt a number of times and always
communicated with King Edward. She eventually stopped because no other
communicator came for her.
In this interview, Lady Warwick also said that she was a medium able to perform
automatic writing. Among those she had shared the séance room with were two
Great War leaders, Lord Haig and General French. Haig always received Messages
from his dead brother and he and French were codenamed in the circles as 'David
"The Prince and the Paranormal. The Psychic Bloodline of the Royal Family" by
John Dale (London: W. H. Allen & Co., 1986).